Stop, right there. You’re done.
I’m pregnant. It’s my first, so I am just like any first time mum and over excited about it (while freaking out).
I hear you…
“That’s so exciting.”
No, stop there. I’m serious. That’s it. You’re done. If you stop right now, you are in the safest place you can be to not upset a hormonal woman who, if they’re anything like me, has just come out of 8 weeks of 24/7 nausea (aka hell).
Look, I'm sure you would only say lovely things. But sometimes, just sometimes, people don't really think about what they are saying. And well, if I was you and wanted to be on the safe side, I would never ever say any of the below.
(These are either what have been said to me, or the other mums in the office.)
1. "Aren't you too old to have another baby?"
The answer to this is no, and none of your business. There is nothing good about making someone who already might be worried about their age, even more worried or aware. (They know their age.)
2. "You do know what causes pregnancy, right?"
Alcohol? Usually said to someone who is pregnant with "too many" children. Some people want a big family. And yes, they are well aware of how to make a baby. Trust me. They've done this before.
3. "You've ruined your life."
Whether they've got pregnant "too early", "too late", or whether you've had a bad day with the kids and wish you could take it all back, squashing someone else's happiness because you're unhappy isn't the way to go. In fact, it's a way to get uninvited to the baby shower.
4. "That is the best time/worst time to give birth."
Thanks. Very helpful to know. Because obviously us pregnant women got our handy calculator out, figured out when to ovulate, and made it happen just so we could push at the right time of year. Also, if it just so happens to be your wedding/birthday/ anniversary/big moment in your life on or near the due date, that isn't the couple's fault either. It's the universe's.
5. "I knew you were pregnant."
This is said often and with no malicious intent. But still...it's never nice to know that someone was watching your movements so closely that they could tell something only you and your partner know you did. You know what I mean?
6. "Dammit. What a bitch. I wish it were me."
Okay look, watching someone else celebrate their pregnancy when you wish it was you is hard. But don't let them know that. It won't make you feel better, and probably just makes them feel worse. If they know you are trying, they probably have been deliberating how to tell you they're pregnant. Just be happy, grab another friend who can keep a secret and vent to them.
7. "Now you can eat whatever you want and get fat, because you're going to get fat anyways."
Thanks. Nothing like bringing up a woman's weight to make her feel super confident about the body she already feels out of control of.
8. "Twins, IVF right?"
(I'm not pregnant with twins.) And once again, unless the couple disclose they used IVF, then you can't ask. Usually if they used IVF, it was at the end of a long emotional road. So just say "Congrats". Also, for twins no "double trouble", "that'll be hard", "I could never do it" either. Don't freak them out more than they are already.
9. "I had been with my husband for 18 years and my mum said, 'Was it an accident?'"
Whether or not you think it was an accident, best not to ask. Again, they'll tell you if they want, otherwise, you get to just think about it and not say it.
10. "But you said you wouldn't try until...insert date."
Yeah, the whole 'we aren't trying for a baby for another 12/18/24 months' was just to throw you off the scent and get you to stop asking every single second if we are having a baby. Because you asking was bloody annoying.
11. The 20 questions.
"Do you know the due date?" "What hospital are you going to?" "Are you pushing or having a C-section?" "Will you breastfeed?" "What school are you going to get them to go to?" "How long are you taking off work?"
STOP. Unless they are the world's most organised person, they will not know any of these questions and you will freak them out. You do not want to freak a hormonal pregnant woman out.
12. "Oh, so you fell pregnant on that date."
Um...awkward. Especially if that date you were on holiday with them/sleeping at their house. No couple wants another couple/family to know when they did the deed.
13. "I can't wait for you to crave meat and then I can prove vegetarians are bullsh*t".
Yeah, this one is mine. I'm vegan and have been constantly told stories of vegans/vegos who've craved meat while pregnant. And as a fairly relaxed vegan (I don't really care if people don't agree with my love for veggies), the stories didn't bug me. But what did bug me, is telling me that I will crave meat and that my beliefs are BS. Again, pissing off a hormonal woman is just not going to help you out. And telling someone their beliefs are BS is just rude.
14. "I bet you anything you'll get a girl. You won't get a boy."
Stereotypically there is a preference among men to have a boy. But no matter what, this shouldn't be said to your guy friend (or female friend). There is nothing wrong with getting either sex. Both are beautiful. Both will wake up at 1am, 3am and 5am. And both will one day pee on you.
So... what is the perfect thing to say to someone who has announced their pregnancy?
My colleagues got it right...they said... "You'll make the best mum." No matter how confident you are, you always worry you are going to mess up. And having people tell you that you won't, is the best response ever.
What was the worst thing someone said to you when you announced your pregnancy?
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